What is GoPro and How Did it Become so Successful?
GoPro was founded by Nick Woodman back in 2002, following a surfing trip to Australia. He'd found a gap in the camera market, as it was hard to find good camera equipment for amateur surfing enthusiasts at a reasonable price. His objective was to create a product that could capture the angles of professional equipment, and 'GoPro' was born.
To raise funds for his new venture, he began to sell bead and shell beads out of his VW camper van. While doing this, it gave him the inspiration to create a strap for his GoPro camera that was comfortable and fashionable, as most camera straps at the time were uncomfortable and not exactly stylish. In 2004 the first GoPro was sold, a 35mm film camera, suitable for surfers and other extreme sports enthusiasts. Since then, GoPro has evolved into one of the most sought after gadgets on the planet.
What's the reason behind it's success?
The main reason behind GoPro's success is that it offers users the chance to let others view their experiences from their point of view, which in the past was an expensive and uncomfortable thing to do (imagine strapping a 5kg camera onto your head and going skiing!). It is no coincidence that the success of GoPro is in direct correlation to the boom in internet usage over the last decade or so. The amount of platforms on which users can share their videos has increased, along with the size of the potential audience.
From a social media viewpoint, not many camera brands have a following quite like GoPro. They have built up a very large social following, which includes; 5.5 million 'likes' on Facebook, over 600,000 followers on Twitter, and over 880,000 subscribers on YouTube. This social success lead to them being named the highest place brand in the Consumer Electronics category (and the only brand in the Consumer Electronics category to make the top 100) in the 2013 Social Brands 100 (#SB100), and 27th place overall.
Popular YouTuber CTFxC (real name Charles Trippy) has amassed a base of nearly 770,000 subscribers on the video sharing site, with people wanting to his popular web series 'Internet Killed Television', that documents the lives of his wife Alli and their dogs Zoey and Marley.
Another popular user on YouTube is MustangWanted. His use of GoPro often involves him scaling buildings or ropey looking scaffolding with a GoPro strapped to his head. This gives people a unique perspective and almost makes you feel as though you're there.
The feeling of being there is what has helped make GoPro so successful, as there are plenty of videos of people skydiving, skiing or climbing buildings - and a common thing for people to say is “I'd love to do that”. With the help of GoPro, viewers can at least get some insight of what it is like to put their vertigo aside and do the “impossible”.
Tom Cornall - Social Media Content Assistant - @tomcornall